Video conferencing was a lot more interesting to watch in 2011 than was VoIP. It wasn't that nothing happened in VoIP during the year. It was just that a lot more happened in video conferencing. This was especially true in the SMB space. Early summer saw a slew of significant announcements from vendors and providers. These announcements figured prominently in the VoIP Evolution report "SMB Video Conferencing: Getting Beyond Clouds & Interoperability."
Continue reading "The Top 10 VoIP & Video Conferencing Developments of 2011" »
There were more advances than true innovations in the VoIP world in 2009. That's because some of the most important developments had more to do with commercial and political maneuvers than with technical creativity. Still, such maneuvers often helped spread the benefits of VoIP as much as did technical innovation. And collectively, the advances brought some already-evident trends into clearer focus. A key such trend is the increasing integration of voice with other applications and services. Another is the intensifying interest in HD voice. A third is the growing interconnection of VoIP services, in part in response to the possibilities that end-to-end HD voice offers. With such trends as background, here, in no particular order, are our top 25 VoIP advances of 2009.
Continue reading "The Top 25 VoIP Advances of 2009" »
TechCrunch reported this morning that Google has bought Gizmo5 for $30 million. Gizmo5 is a SIP-based Internet phone service that competes with Skype. Such an acquisition would make sense, given the already-close relationship between Google's Voice service and Gizmo5. One little-noticed effect of that relationship is that the combined services already allow free inbound and outbound calling to and from the PSTN via Internet-connected PCs with headsets. A formal acquisition would presumably make such calling even easier.
Continue reading "Google Voice-Gizmo5 Combination Means Free Inbound, Outbound Calling" »
Vonage's newly announced iPhone application is a great money maker even before its launch. Simply announcing that the application had won App Store approval sent the Internet telephony pioneer's stock up 36 percent. The problem is, no one knows what the app will do. The company is saying nothing about it "for competitive reasons." But whatever it ends up doing, it will likely be far from earthshaking.
Continue reading "Mystery Surrounds Vonage iPhone App" »
Voxbone's iNum service gives subscribers a single number that can reach them no matter where in the world they or their callers are. INums use the recently created ITU country code +883, which means callers in any country can use the same number to reach the subscriber. Subscribers can likewise have calls to the number directed to them wherever they happen to be. They might even be in the middle of the Nevada desert – say, at the upcoming Burning Man festival.
Continue reading "Voxbone Provides iNums to Burning Man Attendees" »
When it comes to real-time Internet communication, quality is always an issue. Internet connections are so inconsistent they can turn talk into gibberish. It takes sophisticated technology to make Internet conversations sound consistently good. The challenges are even greater with Internet video calling. The quality of both images and sound has to be good, and the two must also be in sync. That's why companies that can afford it pay lots of money for custom video equipment connected over private IP links.
Codecs are key to making Internet voice and video work. These pieces of software, embedded in physical phones or Internet calling applications, process the audio and video for delivery over IP connections. Among other things, codecs adjust for different levels of Internet bandwidth between callers, and compensate for delay, inconsistent delivery and loss of packets carrying the voice or video streams.
Continue reading "GIPS Codec Now Powers Yahoo Video Calling" »